Aged care must be next in line for roadmap

23/01/2012

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has welcomed Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler's issue a draft 'roadmap' for mental health reform over the next 10 years, and now waits eagerly for a similar way forward to be presented for aged care reform.

"Like mental health, aged care has been named as a priority area for the Government, and both are worthy of that status," CHA Chief Executive Martin Laverty said.

Catholic Health Australia’s network of health and aged care providers offer mental health services ranging from post-natal care to support for people with dementia, and will work with the Government through the consultation phase.

"The release of the draft Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform sets the stage for what the Government hopes to achieve. The aged care sector is eagerly anticipating an equivalent forward-looking vision for its future," Mr Laverty said.

CHA is one of several health and aged care agencies to have listed aged care reform as their priority for 2012. There is a great deal of anticipation that what Mr Laverty calls "lengthy and necessary consultation" that has taken place over the past couple of years will finally yield firm commitments from the Government in this year’s Budget.

"The aged care sector is keen to see leadership demonstrated on this issue and a clear path, shaped by the widely supported recommendations of the Productivity Commission, is needed in the coming months," Mr Laverty said.

Mr Laverty said aged care providers have been united in their determination to give ageing Australians more choice when it comes to their care, allow easier access to the system and have a sector that is financially sustainable.

"These are the three priorities that we have presented to the Government and to the wider Parliament. We call on politicians of all parties to work together to build a system around those priorities," Mr Laverty said.

"The mental health roadmap is welcomed and is important, but I think its release will have people in the aged care sector wondering ‘Where’s ours?’"



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